There are still some commodity boards with pricing or volume control in smaller crops such as cacao, and Russia and Kazakhstan sometimes seem to be heading fitfully in the direction of re-establishing government-controlled wheat marketing.

For the moment, however, the monopoly dinosaurs have died out for the major commodities. That is even more important for wheat, which represents the largest volume, fully one third, of the world’s annual grain trade. So Aug. 1, 2012, marked marketing freedom day not just for Canadians, but also for an entire global industry.

U.S. wheat producers are still a little uncertain about how this new marketplace will work.

For example, there are lots of details to be resolved related to U.S.-Canadian cross-border trade. But, we welcome the opportunity to compete openly and fairly based on the value of wheat to our customers, especially overseas where markets are growing.

We have a lot to offer in terms of value and reliability of supply, and we are confident that the new, fairer marketplace will work both to our favor and to the benefit of buyers. Pricing shenanigans will no longer distort markets, disrupting logical supply lines and skewing trade. It is past time.

We must also tip our hats to our northern neighbor's wheat and barley producers, who will now be able to market their wheat to whomever they choose. On average, we expect the open market to improve their returns and that the end of monopoly pricing tactics will improve ours.

Buyers, too, are better served by markets that send the right signals back to the sources of supply and forward to end users.  

To our customers, the best guarantee of a steady supply of wheat is the U.S. wheat producer. We repeat our promise of reliability, quality and service, and we genuinely look forward — finally — to a global market that works as it should, without monopoly trade distortions.